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Adams' overtime strike sends UCLA past Portland 3-2, to fifth straight College Cup.

Danesha Adams
Danesha Adams scored twice, including the winner into sudden death, to defeat Portland 3-2 and send UCLA to the NCAA tournament semifinals for the fifth straight year.
-- UCLA web site photo --
LOS ANGELES (Friday, November 30, 2007) -- Senior striker Danesha Adams's second goal came in sudden death, lifting No. 1 UCLA to a 3-2 victory over third-ranked Portland in an NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championships quarterfinal before 862 who brave a steady rain at Drake Stadium tonight.

UCLA (20-1-2) advanced the Women's College Cup -- the national semifinals and final -- for the fifth straight year and will face No. 9 Southern California, its crosstown rival, in one semifinal. Visiting USC (18-3-2) recorded its 14th clean sheet of the season and edged 15th-ranked West Virginia 1-0.

Freshman Sanna Talonen scored three times, including a late equalizer and the winner in a second overtime period, lifting No. 14 Florida State to a 3-2 decision over Connecticut, which twice led in another quarterfinal. The Seminoles (17-5-3) advanced to meet 13th-ranked Notre Dame, a 3-2 winner over Duke.

Midway through a second and final overtime period, freshman defender Lauen Barnes sent a right-sode corner kick to Adams who elevated from a crowd and buried a header past sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Davis at 103:58 for the 3-2 final over Portland (18-4).

"To get that goal at the end was an amazing feeling," said Adams, who scored her 15th goal of the season and tied the UCLA career record for game-winning goals with her 25th. "It's my senior year and I don't want to go home. I don't want this to ever end. I want to always wear this UCLA Bruin jersey. . . It was a great service in and I just went up and said, 'You know what, I'm going to finish this right now.' I just went up for it. Kelsey had a great game, but it was our time".

Portland forced extra time when senior midfielder Angie Woznuk scored her ninth goal of the season with 1:09 left in regulation. UCLA failed to clear a Pilots corner kick from its penalty area and Woznuk deposited the loose ball into the Bruins net with the outside of her right foot.

"Giving up that goal feels gut-wrenching, but to come back, that's the greatest lesson for these guys at this point" UCLA coach Jillian Ellis said. "They showed that they can bounce back. I told them before the overtime period that we just controlled the second half of the game and now we have to finish it. This was tremendous."

Portland took a 1-0 lead on sophomore Michelle Enyeart's goal with 34:50 elapsed. Freshman defender Jessica Tsao sent a ball into the box, drawing out senior keeper Valerie Henderson. The ball skidded past Henderson on the wet field, leaving Enyeart to finish from seven yards out into an empty net.

The Bruins answered soon after intermission on Adams' first goal. She carried through four opponents before unleashing a right-footed equalizer at 50:50.

"UCLA is a great, dynamic team," Davis said. "We were able to keep them out for most of the game, but they have a great offense."

Sophomore forward Kara Lang, who scored both goals in a 2-1 overtime victory over Portland earlier in the year, gave the Bruins a 2-1 advantage at 72:20 on a close-range header. Junior striker Christina DiMartino fed Lang after taking a pass from sophomore defender Lauren Wilmoth.

"We have nothing to shake our heads about," Portland coach Garrett Smith said. "We knew it was going to be tough. To tie it up that late in the game showed the true character of this program. I'm disappointed to lose in overtime, but this team has accomplished so much this season."

Given Portland's ranking in the polls, it would have followed that the Pilots would have been given one of four top seeds in the NCAA tournament and not have had to face UCLA until the semifinals at the earliest. Instead, the meeting came in the quarterfinals.

"Every time we meet (UCLA), it's special," Davis said. "This should have been a championship match."

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